Point it out at least?
When an Arizona Sheriff characterized the First Amendment in this way he was wrong:
“Let me say one thing, because people tend to pooh-pooh this business about all the vitriol that we hear inflaming the American public by people who make a living off of doing that,” the sheriff said during a press conference. “That may be free speech, but it’s not without consequences.”(Sheriff Exudes Error, emphasis added). The error is to equate free speech with violent, false, or reckless speech, then to imply that our Constitution is weak to allow free speech because free speech is "not without consequences".
That is an ignorant view of the First Amendment to the Constitution.
Americans have never been "free" to yell "Fire!" in a movie theater when there is no fire and when the person who yells it intends mischief.
That isn't freedom, it is intellectual debauchery.
We have never been "free" to print libel or speak slander, both of which would appropriately have consequences.
There are no consequences for having Free Speech, but many consequences for not having it, thus, the exercise is to know what Free Speech is and is not.
It would probably help to use the terms "legal speech" and "illegal speech" to clear the air of misunderstanding.
For example, recently a radio host was sent to prison for advocating violence against certain judges:
The ultra right-wing talk show host and blogger, once popular with white supremacists, protested his innocence and blasted U.S. District Judge Donald E. Walter and the Chicago-based assistant U.S. attorneys who prosecuted him for manipulating the legal system to finally win a conviction after three trials.(Shock Jock Hal Turner Goeth Down). The bad mouthed wing nut as well as the liberal sheriff both have an impure view of the First Amendment.
“The charge against me was a lie from the beginning, and the verdict was invalid because it was based on fraud,” declared Turner, 48, of North Bergen, dressed in a dark grey prison jump suit
In a rambling, nearly hour-long diatribe, Turner accused the judge of “legal skullduggery” for changing the legal definition of a threat and ignoring more than 40 years of Supreme Court case law on freedom of speech and advocating violence.
Perhaps we have all forgotten that decency really is cool, forgotten that decent Free Speech is as big as the sky, forgotten that Free Speech does include opinionated speech which does not advocate violence against those who hold different opinions, and perhaps we have forgotten that ad hominem speech on steroids is not Free Speech, but is for those void of the cognitive ability to actually use Free Speech effectively.
The thing is, free speech does not go into the utter gutter where hate filled vitriol is spewed like a broken sewer line run amok.
The fault for this ignorance must be placed upon the individuals who use it, but also upon those who advocate it.
That would be MOMCOM and the wannabe minions who are intellectually bankrupt:
Words matter, as candidate Barack Obama said in the 2008 election campaign. What to make, then, of President Obama’s pep talk last month to U.S. troops in Afghanistan in which he lauded them as “the finest fighting force that the world has ever known”? Certainly, he knew that those words would resonate with the troops as well as with the folks back home.(William Astore). Astore goes on to point out what boils down to the national glorification of bullying, along with the glorification of bullying speech.
In fact, this sort of description of the U.S. military has become something of a must for American presidents. Obama’s predecessor George W. Bush, for example, boasted of that military as alternately “the greatest force for freedom in the history of the world” and “the greatest force for human liberation the world has ever known.”
I’m a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a historian who teaches military history. The retired officer in me warms to the sentiment of our troops as both unparalleled fighters and selfless liberators, but the historian in me begs to differ.
To use a sports analogy, we wouldn’t call the Pittsburgh Steelers “the finest team in NFL history” simply because they annihilated Penn State in football.
It gives new meaning to "the bully pulpit".
It is perverted when a giant of a man pummels a 10 year old kid and thereafter calls himself a great fighter.
It is perverted when politicians say in public that if they loose at the ballot box under the First Amendment, they will vote with their rights to sights under the Second Amendment; which is a clear advocation of violence by poor losers, and is not free speech.
When the wing nut crowd's sails become filled with the ill winds of enslaved speech, not free speech, then some decent people will inevitably die.
Like yesterday when a federal judge, a child, and others were killed by a cowardly bully who had them out gunned, like yesterday when a federal congresswoman and others were wrongly harmed, like yesterday when we saw that slave speech does not bode well for our tomorrow, because tomorrow must be free if it is to be American.